Who am I?
My name is Julie, and I've been a vegetarian for nearly 25 years. I love cooking different types of ethnic cuisines. The spicier the better.
Why am I writing this blog?
If I had a penny for every time I've been asked, "But what do you eat," I'd probably have about $8.43 Instead of collecting loose change, though, I figured I'd write a blog in response to that question.
What about scallops?
The second most commonly encountered question is, "But what about scallops? Do you eat scallops?" (Technically, I suppose that's two questions.) The answer is no. Nothing with a face. Nothing with parents. Since scallops have about 64 little blue eyes, I think that might qualify as having a "face" of sorts as well as parents.
How did I become a vegetarian?
I didn't make the plunge until I was 15, but the seeds were sown when I was quite young.
As a child, whenever we visited my grandfather's farm, he'd take me for a walk and point out cows. "Give that cow a name," he'd say, "It can be your pet."
One day, when I was about 6, he led me to the chicken coop and told me to pick out a chicken. After a careful evaluation of the birds, I picked out the biggest, most beautiful, most feathery one to be my pet. The next thing I knew, he had my bird in one hand, an axe in the other, and my pet's head was rolling by my small feet. Then he left me alone with the headless body, which immediately jumped up and began chasing my guilty, screaming self around the yard. To tell the truth, I wasn't quite alone. I was with two of my cousins, but they weren't much help as they were doubled over laughing hysterically at my predicament.
When my grandfather returned, he had a bucket of hot water for soaking the body (which had finally decided to give up on me). I was instructed to "Pull out the feathers like this, see. I'll be back."
So there I was, crying and yanking feathers out of the bird that I'd unwittingly conspired against. It seems that should be enough to scar any young child for life, but wait! It gets worse! The final blow was when grandpa slit the bird open and showed me a perfectly formed egg inside my chicken. It was too much for my tiny brain. I'd killed my bird, and then I'd murdered her baby, too. I was tramautized for life!
Please, don't feel bad for me. In retrospect, I think this is a hilariously funny story, and I bear my granddad no ill will. In fact, my grandpa and I had a riot laughing about about it years later. Actually, of all the people I've ever encountered, he was probably the most immediately understanding of my explanation for choosing to be a vegetarian. He just looked at me and said, "I could see how it might turn you off."